Rihanna criticises brands who use transgender people as a ‘marketing tool’
Rihanna has hit out at beauty brands who hire transgender women for “token” reasons.
The global selling popstar took to social media to explain why she had not featured trans women in her Fenty Beauty line.
Responding to a fan, Rihanna explained that she had the utmost respect for women, trans or otherwise, but did not want to hire models from minority groups as a “token” gesture.
One fan, who goes by the screen name ‘savage’ wrote, “next time you record something should invite a trans girl to the group”.
To his amazement, Rihanna sent a long message in response to the suggestion.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted trans women over the years,” she replied, “but I don’t go around doing trans castings!”
“I respect all women. Whether they’re trans or not is none of my business.”
“I don’t think it’s fair that a trans woman, or man, be used as a convenient marketing tool,” she said.
“Too often I see companies doing this to trans and black women alike.
“There’s always just that one spot in the campaign for the token ‘we look mad diverse’ girl/guy! It’s sad!”
The conversation took place between Rihanna and fan called @lbertootero via private messages Twitter.
He later took a screen grab of the star’s comments and made them public.
Rihanna has long been an ally of the LGBT community.
Celebrating the anniversary of independence for Barbados earlier this year, she and Prince Harry took an HIV tests to mark World AIDS Day.
Prince Harry joked that taking the test would be painful, squirming as the nurse went to prick his finger.
It was the second time that Harry had taken a test in public in five months in an attempt to reduce the stigma surrounding the virus.
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Rihanna proved that she was tougher than the prince, saying: “You made it seem like it hurts.
“It’s not as painful as you said this morning.”
Both Prince Harry and Rihanna tested negative when their results came back 20 minutes later.
The prince follows in the footsteps of his mother, who famously campaigned to end the stigma around people with HIV AIDS.